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My Old Trunk

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Trunks2349 of 2569antique flat top trunk refinishedAntique Zinc Trunk Rare
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    Posted 9 years ago

    (82 items)

    I've had this old trunk for nearly 40 years now. It's not very fancy, not in great condition, the inside is pretty much a wreck. But I'd love to know about how old it might be, what this style of trunk is called, and if I should just leave it as-is (since that's pretty much all I've ever done) or think about refinishing it or refurbishing it. I've never done anything like that before.

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    1. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      Hi Stef -- lovely trunk you have there. That is a dome top trunk, I would guess about 1880's or so (some would call it camel back but when it was made it was called dome). It has the nice cast iron corner pieces on it, which tell me it is from that era -- the latch seems to be from a little earlier,but they used them for a good period of time. To me the interior looks in great shape -- just a damp cloth to wet the remaining paper and take it off would do the trick. It is a complete matter of taste to do anything with it -- as it stands now the wood is unprotected and perhaps a little dull. How brave are you?! I usually tung oil my trunks but I find the ones with pine bodies like yours do not come out as nice. A natural stain will bring out the grain of the wood and then you could coat it with polyurethane satin finish. (or just the polyurethane itself will do without the stain) I always do a small test piece at the back corner of my trunks just to make sure -- because any stain with completely change the look that you are now familiar with. You have marks on the body of the trunk you could lightly sand out or choose to leave to show age and wear. Boy you got me going now....let me know if I can help in any way, so I don't over-comment. Suffice it to say there are many options -- even leaving as is. I will post a trunk tonight that has a pine body and I used a natural stain and polyeurathane and you can see how it looks for comparison.
    2. stefdesign stefdesign, 9 years ago
      Thank you so much, Trunkman! I was hoping you would see this and comment. You've been very helpful! It's been one of those things that sits unnoticed in my bedroom (a great place to lay clothes!) and I decided to feature it on my collector blog today, so it got me wondering. I'd really be interested in seeing your photos.
      By the way, what about the interior? Should I put some new paper on it, or leave it plain?
    3. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      Funny thing with me and interiors. I get so excited about the outside and I never do the insides, except take off the paper, and maybe give a lick of varnish. So I like just wood interiors.
    4. stefdesign stefdesign, 9 years ago
      Good idea! Makes sense.
    5. stefdesign stefdesign, 9 years ago
      Oh, one more question. What about the hardware? Something I can use to make it look nice?
    6. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      Photos are posted for you -- take a look see..
    7. stefdesign stefdesign, 9 years ago
      Thanks, I'm off to check them out!
    8. trunkman trunkman, 9 years ago
      You had asked about the hardware -- I never paint the hardware -- I always use a little bit of gun oil to brighten up the metal. (matter of preference)
    9. lundy lundy, 9 years ago
    10. fearghais, 9 years ago
      You're right - this one does look a lot like mine. This may be a little larger than mine. Do you know the dimensions of yours? Mine is 16'x28'x18.5"h.
    11. stefdesign stefdesign, 9 years ago
      Mine is 18" x 30" x 21 h, so just a bit larger than yours.

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